With a combined three Top 25 wins, the No. 20 Missouri State Lady Bears and South Dakota State Jackrabbits are set to collide in an intriguing matchup.
A matchup of mid-major titans greets college basketball fans today as the No. 20 Missouri State Lady Bears welcome the South Dakota State Jackrabbits.
The Lady Bears are coming off Monday’s blowout win over the Missouri Tigers on the road. On Nov. 28, they picked up their signature win over the then-No. 11 Maryland Terrapins. Brice Calip leads the team with 15.2 points per game and is its top defender, having been named the Missouri Valley Conference Defensive Player of the Year last season.
South Dakota State has Top 25 wins this season against the then-No. 15 Iowa State Cyclones (Nov. 28) and the then-No. 18 Gonzaga Bulldogs (Dec. 6). The Jackrabbits have been ranked as high as No. 22 in the AP Poll, but road defeats against the Kansas State Wildcats (Dec. 10) and Northern Iowa Panthers (Dec. 12) have left them unranked at the moment. Most recently, they returned home to easily beat the Drake Bulldogs on Tuesday.
Missouri State’s strength on the offensive boards could be quite critical. The Lady Bears’ average of 15.6 offensive rebounds has led to an average of 12.8 second chance points over the course of their first five games. South Dakota State has been out-rebounded in half of their games, yet has been able to offset this by getting to the free throw line and playing outstanding 3-point defense.
Here’s what to expect from the matchup and how to watch:
South Dakota State Jackrabbits (4-2, 0-0 Summit) vs. No. 20 Missouri State Lady Bears (4-1, 0-0 MVC)
When: Saturday, Dec. 19, at 2 p.m. ET
Where: JGH Arena in Springfield, MO
What to watch: Missouri State and South Dakota State both work hard to get to the charity stripe, averaging 20.4 and 17.5 free throw attempts, respectively. Meanwhile, Missouri State turns its opponents over 16.8 times per game and has a propensity to score off of those turnovers (18.8 points on average). Limiting fouls and turnovers could be the two areas that this game turns on.